El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) yesterday introduced 15-minute Covid tests for passengers who have not been vaccinated. The technology is being trialed as part of a pilot project on El Al flights between Tel Aviv and New York.
Before boarding flights, all passengers, including those who have been vaccinated, are required to bring to a negative Covid-19 test result from the previous 72 hours. Now in addition, all passengers who do not have a green vaccination or recovery pass are also required to take a rapid test at the airport. Any passenger testing positive and their family will not be allowed to board the flight but can receive a refund on their tickets.
El Al CEO Avigal Sorek said, "The plan will let El Al help the Israeli government in its decision to open the skies and in the future to rehabilitate the tourist industry, for the benefit of the Israeli economy."
Asked if the tests will make fares more expensive, Sorek said, "Our aim is to ensure a safe mechanism that will encourage the aviation sector. The question of pricing and costs of the system is secondary at the moment."
Despite this it is likely that the $15 that each test costs will likely be added on to the ticket.
Meanwhile, four months after the Check2Fly Covid testing laboratory opened at Ben Gurion airport, the faster testing service has been introduced. Until now passengers have been paying NIS 45 and receiving results within 14 hours. They will now have the option of paying NIS 135 and receiving the results within four hours.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 9, 2021
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